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Speech by CE at Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum Ministerial Panel (English only) (with photo/video)
     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum Ministerial Panel today (December 14):
Honourable Ministers, heads of delegations, Consuls General, ladies and gentlemen,
     I'm very pleased to welcome you all to the 12th Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum.
     And I'm delighted to see so many of you here in person at this year's Forum, our first in three years.
     In just a moment, we'll hear from Minister of Culture and Tourism of China, Mr Hu Heping, who will join us, live, online. And, here in Hong Kong, we welcome senior government officials representing nearly 20 countries and regions, including, for the first time, senior delegations from Nepal, Pakistan, Russia and Sri Lanka. I'm also pleased to see some 15 Consuls General in attendance.
     Your strong support only underlines my Government's commitment to our economy and our global partners: that Hong Kong is back onstage, back in business, back creating connections, and opportunities, for a world of business. And culture and the arts, too.
     Yes, the return of the Forum is renewed testimony of our dedication to promoting arts and cultural development and exchange in Asia.   
     The Forum's return also adds much to the celebration of our 25th anniversary as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.
     Over these past 25 years, the "one country, two systems" principle has ensured Hong Kong's long-term stability and prosperity. And, as President Xi Jinping has emphasised, it will continue to do so over the long haul. Good news for Hong Kong, good news for the economies, and companies, that work with Hong Kong.
     This year's Forum is the first since our country's 14th Five-Year Plan outlined Hong Kong's international and regional hub role in eight discrete sectors, including our serving as an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. 
     Hong Kong has long been a melting pot of eastern and western cultures, and our international connections are clear and compelling.   
     Consider, Hong Kong was the third-largest art market in the world in 2021, thanks to such international fairs as Art Basel.
     The West Kowloon Cultural District, one of the world's largest, most ambitious, cultural developments, continues its splendid rise alongside our harbour. West Kowloon is the quintessential blending of East and West.
     Its Xiqu Centre, which opened in 2019, is dedicated to Chinese opera. M+, Asia's first global museum of contemporary visual culture, opened last year. And the Hong Kong Palace Museum, this year's major addition to West Kowloon, presents more than 900 dazzling artefacts from the world-famous Palace Museum in Beijing.
     We're also educating, training and creating opportunities for the next generation of artists and cultural innovators - here in Hong Kong and throughout the region. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts was the only Asian post-secondary institution to place among the top 10 in the QS World University Rankings' "Performing Arts" category.
     Given the Academy's prestigious reputation as a global centre for the arts, I have asked it to consider how best to nurture arts and cultural talent both here in Hong Kong, and in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. That includes the possibility of a new Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts campus. It would find dynamic life in the Northern Metropolis - Hong Kong's 21st century I&T (innovation and technology) city, soon to spread alongside our boundary with Shenzhen.
     Arts, culture and creative industries enrich peoples' lives, while creating fresh prospects for economic growth.
     The Government of the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) recognises the promise of arts and culture. In July, we established a new Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau to better integrate policies for the arts, cultural and creative industries, as well as sports and tourism. 
     The new Bureau will also accelerate Hong Kong's development as an East‑meets‑West centre for international cultural exchange. I'll leave it to Bureau Secretary Kevin Yeung, who will speak to you in just a few minutes, to update you on our latest initiatives in arts and culture.
      I am also pleased to tell you that Hong Kong will host the third Museum Summit in March, with Italy's Gallerie degli Uffizi as our international partner. And the inaugural Greater Bay Area Arts Festival will debut in 2024. 
     Also in 2024, we will host the first Hong Kong Performing Arts Market. And I welcome the participation of performing artists and art groups from all over the world.
     Ladies and gentlemen, I know you will enjoy this Forum, and the rewarding programmes arranged for you. 
     I wish you all happy holidays. And the best of arts and culture in the new year.
     Thank you very much.
Ends/Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:25
Today's Press Releases  


The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, speaks at the Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum Ministerial Panel today (December 14).

Audio / Video

CE attends Asia Cultural Co-operation Forum Ministerial Panel